[sixties-l] dog burning

From: RozNews@aol.com
Date: 12/12/00

  • Next message: PNFPNF@aol.com: "[sixties-l] Re: letting it all hang out"

    I got a copy of dog burning at noon.  It is a great little 5 min. film .  I 
    asked Robert Machover , who taught the class to write something about the 
    film it follows.
    Roz Payne 
     Dog Burning At Noon was made by the class in filmaking that I taught at The
    Free University of New York. Nailing down the date isn't easy but my best 
    is the spring of 1967.  The class was free but everyone was asked to 
    contribute a
    lab fee ($25?) to cover the cost of film, processing, audio tape, sound 
    etc. I supplied the camera (16mm wind-up Bolex), tape recorder (non-sync Uher)
    and editing equipment. There were about a dozen people taking the class.  At 
    first session, I gave everyone the "homework" assignment of writing an
    outline/treatment for a short film that we could make together.  There were 
    restrictions on what we could do and only the simplest ideas were practical.-
    short, no sync sound, accessible locations, etc.  The next week, people 
    their proposals and we discussed them.  I ruled out more than half the ideas
    because they were overly ambitious, undoable.  I think it was Connie Long who
    proposed the dog burning story, perhaps because she had heard of someone 
    planning to do something like it.  A group announces plans to burn a dog.  
    are shocked and horrified, yet they are complacent about the daily murders
    committed by our government in Vietnam.  There wasn't much competition and the
    class voted overwhelmingly for DBAN.  I was skeptical that it could be made to
    work but it was an ideal class project - everyone could participate and it was
    certainly within our limited means.
    I think the success of the film is based on its surreal, austere mood.  A 
    appears, each person dressed in a white shirt and black pants.  A sign 
    "Dog Burning at Noon Today".  The people assemble at the base of the Brooklyn
    Bridge, accompanied by a cute little dog on a leash.  They gather wood for a
    large bonfire, while the dog is tied to a post, unaware of its fate.  
    Everyone is
    dead serious.  The sound track is a collage of patriotic music and voices 
    the war in Vietnam - LBJ, quotes from the military, news reports, etc.  The
    bonfire is lit and the dog held high above the flames.  Pictures from the war 
    flashed on the screen - burning peasant houses, napalmed civilians, etc.  The
    film ends.  Presumably, the dog is spared.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : 12/13/00 EST